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Piastri 'surprised' by impact of Gasly first-lap incident

After a strong showing in Saturday's qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Oscar Piastri slipped backwards through the field in Sunday's race following an incident on the first lap. The Australian has given his take on what happened.

Oscar Piastri admits he was "surprised" by the impact of his first-lap incident with Pierre Gasly at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The McLaren driver made contact with Gasly's Alpine on the opening lap and was subsequently forced to pit due to damage on his front wing. Piastri's teammate, Lando Norris, also inadvertently found himself affected by the collision after hitting the debris from the Australian's car, which also lead to a pit-stop for the #4 car. Both drivers ended the race outside of the points, with Piastri in P15 while Norris claimed P17.

Piastri on Gasly contact

Speaking after the race, Piastri – whose debut at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix ended in a DNF due to a mechanical issue – admitted that the damage he sustained on the first lap came as something of a surprise. "I think it was really just one of those Lap 1, Turn 1 incidents," Piastri told media, including RacingNews365.com . "The contact felt really small, so I was honestly quite surprised to have damage. But yeah, [it was a] shame. "The rest of the race I think was reasonable. Some good experience with learning how to use the battery at the end with the overtakes and stuff like that. "[I was] nice to see the end as well." When asked if points might have been a possibility without the first-lap incident, Piastri felt that it was difficult to say where McLaren's pace compared to others. "I'm not 100 per cent sure, to be honest," the 21-year-old added. "I'm not sure how great our pace was anyways. I think doing 49 laps on the Hard [tyres] is never going to be great for your race pace! "We'll have to sit down and have a look at how it was."

Gasly: Unfortunate that Piastri had damage

Gasly gave a similar take on events as Piastri, with the Frenchman admitting that it was "unfortunate" that Piastri suffered damage in the Lap 1 incident. "I'd been going side-by-side with Oscar," Gasly explained to Sky Sports F1 . "I felt like we touched slightly, and then I saw his endplate went off. It felt very small, but unfortunately he lost a piece of his front wing." When quizzed on whether he had picked up any damage himself in the contact, Gasly said: "I don't think so. "As I said, it [felt] super light inside the car." Gasly ended the race in P9, his second consecutive points finish for Alpine.

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